Selfmade Sunglasses Review: Rising Stars Burn the Brightest

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by  William Barton | Last Updated: 

Selfmade is a young startup, so you’re not alone in wondering if they can deliver on their promise of rich looking glasses that feel up to the long days you’re ready to put them through.

In this Selfmade sunglasses review, we take a look at four of the brands most popular frames, inspecting the materials, lenses, and style so you can decide for yourself whether you’re feeling like a self-made man.

Love a little hustle and grind?
The Adult Man Image/Icon Image source: Selfmade

Selfmade

Bottom line: Selfmade sunglasses are excellent: the vintage-inspired frames are stylish and the design is much more sophisticated than most other sunglass brands I’ve tried. The materials and construction are solid, though it’d be nice to see them embrace more unique styles.

Ratings:

The Adult Man Image/Icon  Design
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Quality of Materials
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Value for Money
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Craftsmanship
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Customer Service

Pros:

  • All frames have some vintage inspiration but have a modern aesthetic
  • Italian Mazzucchelli acetate is the industry standard for best sunglasses material---brands that charge $400-500 also use the same material
  • The hinges are five-barrelled, meaning they’re super secure and don’t have any vertical wiggle
  • Free shipping worldwide, two-year warranty, and free returns

Cons:

  • I’d love to see more color and acetate variety for more unique options

“Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering” – Theodore Roosevelt

If you ever want to get so pumped up that you’re left with no choice but to conquer the world, read through Teddy Roosevelt’s best quotes while listening to “Lose Yourself” by Eminem. You will literally shoot flames out of your mouth. 

That’s a little known fact, but I’m happy to share it with you, because you’re one of the special ones. 

Another secret? 

Top performers wear cool sunglasses. C’mon, didn’t you ever see an episode of Entourage?

Sunglasses are one of those subtle style details that can elevate an outfit and make a big impression on those you meet. So to boost my frame game, I’ve been scoping out new brands.

That’s how I came across Selfmade, the sunglasses brand for those who aren’t afraid to hustle and grind. 

But are they any good? Keep reading and get into the nitty-gritty with me.

What Is Selfmade?

selfmade edc collection sunglasses

Selfmade is a young sunglasses brand based in San Diego. True to their name, the frames are aimed at those who embrace the hustle lifestyle—entrepreneurs, folks with a perpetual side-gig, anyone who isn’t afraid of a little grind. 

Part of me was worried these sunglasses would turn me into Gary V. a la Jim Carrey in The Mask:

highway brakes GIF

Selfmade leans on vintage inspired designs and produces their frames in Greece, using the same Italian Mazzucchelli acetate that many of the world’s most popular (and some of the most expensive) brands use. 

But small brands like Selfmade are breaking the Luxottica monopoly (Ray-Ban, Oakley, virtually all sunglass brands you know about) by offering the same or better quality at nearly half the price. 

Selfmade Sunglasses

Selfmade sunglasses are an excellent choice if you want a distinctive pair of sunglasses that have a bit of classic vintage style, but still look modern and suave.

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Things to Consider Before Buying Sunglasses from Selfmade

If a brand name is important to you, then you’ll miss out on the lack of a little white Ray-Ban logo in the upper corner of your glasses.

But that’s not true for most people, and you’re probably most concerned with the quality. 

Spending anything over $50 on a pair of sunglasses is an investment, and a worthy one if your new frames look and feel great. 

From a quality perspective, Selfmade sunglasses are well-worth the asking price. The only question is if you can get behind their more vintage-inspired classic aesthetic. 

Selfmade Sunglasses Review

I picked up four of Selfmade’s most popular frames to gauge the fit and styling, and see how consistent the brand is across their models. 

Douglass II

selfmade sunglasses tucked into shirt

The Douglass II is my new favorite pair of sunglasses. I’m going to come out and say it. 

These frames have what look like an octagonal shape from the temple and above, but a rounded shape at the bottom. Pair that with a keyhole bridge and two gold details at the front, and you get one sexy looking set of frames. 

model wearing selfmade sunglasses in polo

I went with the Sunrise color, which has an ombre effect from black to champagne, which is unique. The Douglass II also comes in Ember, which is a pretty wild looking tortoise-shell style, a Matte Teal, and a classic Black. 

Up above, I noted that I think Selfmade could be a bit more adventurous with their color choices, but that complaint doesn’t apply to the Douglass II. I was immediately drawn to the shape of these frames, but had a more difficult time choosing which color I wanted.

selfmade interesting sunglasses

These frames are made with Italian Mazzucchelli acetate, which is an industry standard amongst the high-end brands. I can’t say that I notice a difference between Italian acetate and any other kind of acetate, but there’s a massive difference in the feel between acetate and plastic. 

All Selfmade sunglasses use the same acetate, and they also all feature CR39 lenses. Each model has one colorway that uses polarization in its lenses, too (i.e. the Sunrise color I have is the polarized option for the Douglass II).

closeup selfmade douglas ii sunglasses

CR39 has the second-most optical clarity of any substance used in eyewear, second only to actual glass (which nobody uses anymore because if it breaks near your eye…).

selfmade douglass ii on model

What I like most about the Douglass II is that they actually fit my face. A lot of times when I’m trying a new brand, I feel like I have a small head or something because sunglasses tend to fit very large on me. 

Because Selfmade has more vintage inspiration, their frames are more compact, and thus more fitting for someone with a smaller (apparently) face like myself.  

Douglass II by Selfmade Sunglasses

These frames have what look like an octagonal shape from the temple and above, but a rounded shape at the bottom. Pair that with a keyhole bridge and two gold details at the front, and you get one sexy looking set of frames. 

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Carnegie II

selfmade wayfarer style sunglasses

My second favorite pair of frames from Selfmade is the Carnegie II. These are stylistically similar to the Ray-Ban Wayfarer, but there are a few subtle differences that have a big impact.

First, the connection between the front and arms at the temple is a bit larger, which gives these a bit of that retro-vibe. And the Carnegie II also features a keyhole bridge, which goes a surprising distance in making the frames appear smaller on your face. 

I wasn’t blown away by many of the color choices for the Carnegie II, except for the Scotch. I think they look awesome, and I’d love to see Selfmade make more of these bold, transparent colors. 

selfmade ray ban wayfarer alternatives

Like the Douglass II, the Carnegie II fits smaller on the face (if you have a larger face or look better with larger frames, check out the Churchill II). The Scotch color and easy-going style is perfect for relaxed summer days. I’ve tested out my Mint Julep recipe with these on multiple times—I can’t say they help, but they certainly don’t hurt. 

If you’re wondering what the difference between the regular series and the “II” series is, I’ll sum it up for you. Selfmade has done two major runs of frames—their first was pretty similar to their second, but in the second edition, they made some minor tweaks and edits that ultimately improved the design. 

selfmade edc collection sunglasses 1

The most noticeable difference is that all new editions have a diamond decor on the front. There are some differences in the color options, too, but the brand has gone more adventurous with their newer editions. 

Carnegie II by Selfmade Sunglasses

The Carnegie II fits smaller on the face. The Scotch color and easy-going style is perfect for relaxed summer days. I’ve tested out my Mint Julep recipe with these on multiple times---I can’t say they help, but they certainly don’t hurt. 

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Churchill II

selfmade macarthur bridge nose sunglasses

The Churchill II is probably my least favorite from Selfmade—not because they’re not solid sunglasses, but because they don’t really fit my face all that well. 

As I said, I apparently have a smaller face. I wouldn’t guess that about myself, but of the last three sunglass brands I’ve tried (besides Selfmade) all frames dwarfed my face. 

The Churchill II isn’t super large or anything. They still fit reasonably well, but they’re just not my personal preference. 

They come in the Rich Black color I picked up and also the Matte Teal and Matte Sand. 

selfmade eisenhower sunglasses

An interesting note on all these frames: they’re named after iconic figures in history (if you couldn’t already guess). But not only that, they feature quotes from those figures on the inside of the arm bar. So my Churchill II’s say “Never, never, never give up.”

The lenses here are the darkest shade of any of the models I’m wearing, so that’s a plus if you’re looking for maximum shade for your eyes. 

Churchill II by Selfmade Sunglasses

These reinforced bridge frames fit on the large side, so they're an excellent fit for guys with square jaws. And if sunglasses tend to fit small on your face, you'll likely love how these look on you.

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Edison II

selfmade edison closeup on white background

The Edison II is a more square and compact Wayfarer style that’s suited perfectly for dudes with square jaws. I’m not quite there, but I’m still enjoying these frames. 

I feel the Edison II could really benefit from a few more bold colors—I picked up the Russet Tortoise and it’s a solid neutral. 

Maybe it’s just my personality type, but I find myself gravitating much more to the flashier Douglass II and Carnegie II than the more subdued Edison II. 

selfmade edison on white background

Like the rest of Selfmade’s frames, the construction and material on these glasses are top-notch. I was looking through some more expensive designer brands that cost three times as much and was seeing many of the same materials. 

All Selfmade sunglasses feature five-barrel hinges, which makes the arms super sturdy. This is great for someone like me who tends to fidget with their glasses, keep them in my shirt, and sometimes toss them in my bag. I’m not the most delicate with my frames, so the added sturdiness is a big bonus for me. 

Edison II by Selfmade Sunglasses

Like the rest of Selfmade’s frames, the construction and material on these glasses are top-notch. I was looking through some more expensive designer brands that cost three times as much and was seeing many of the same materials. 

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What do Other Reviewers Say About Selfmade?

You can find reviews on the specific models you’re interested in, but by and large, the reviews I read were almost entirely positive. 

Guys were most pleased with the vintage aesthetic of their sunglasses, and it’s hard to find frames that are on the smaller side (which is something I really liked). 

The quality matches the attention to style, and reviewers feel they’re in good hands with Selfmade

My Thoughts Overall On Selfmade Sunglasses

What I Like

  • The vintage inspiration mixed with a modern design sensibility leads to very stylish sunglasses. 

  • The Italian Mazzucchelli acetate is the same material used by brands that charge four times more because it’s widely accepted as the best.

  • The five-barrel hinges are super secure and last a long time even if you’re pretty rough on them like me. 

  • Free shipping around the world, free returns, and a two-year warranty if anything breaks. 

What I Don’t Like

  • After seeing the potential for interesting and bold colors (like the Sunrise Douglass II and Scotch Carnegie II), I felt Selfmade would push even further into distinctive and unique color options.

Who is Selfmade for?

Selfmade sunglasses are an excellent choice if you want a distinctive pair of sunglasses that have a bit of classic vintage style, but still look modern and suave.

The Verdict

I’m a fan of Selfmade. Their Douglass II and Carnegie II are my new go-to’s for spring and summer.

The shape of the Douglass II is probably my favorite shape of any frames I’ve seen—and when it’s paired with the black to champagne ombre, to me it doesn’t get much cooler than that. 

The shape of the Carnegie II is a solid vintage-looking Wayfarer style, but it’s the Scotch translucent color that gets me. 

The Churchill II has the largest fit of the frames I tried, which I felt wasn’t as flattering for my face shape. If you tend to wear larger sunglasses, I’m sure the Churchill will be right up your alley, though, as the materials and construction are just as solid as the rest of Selfmade’s line. 

And for the Edison II, they’re a safe pair of sunglasses, though I’d love to see Selfmade branch out with different types of colors that are a little more bold (like the Scotch).

Overall, if you’re looking to get a high-end pair of sunglasses, but don’t see the point of dropping $400 for a designer name, Selfmade is a fantastic alternative. You get the vintage style with top of the line materials at a fair price. That’s hard to beat.

Selfmade Sunglasses

Selfmade sunglasses are an excellent choice if you want a distinctive pair of sunglasses that have a bit of classic vintage style, but still look modern and suave.

Shop Selfmade
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

FAQs

What sunglasses look best on guys?

Wayfarer style sunglasses are almost universally flattering for men. Check out the Carnegie II from Selfmade for a pair of sunglasses that have classic style with a sense of refinement.

What sunglasses are in style?

Retro sunglasses are coming back into style this year. However, there’s a good chance the “deep-retro” stuff that looks like it’s out of a 70s or 80s movie is going to fade. Your best bet is to go with something vintage-inspired, but still classic, like Selfmade’s collection. 

How much should I pay for good sunglasses?

You can get a good functional pair of sunglasses for $20. My pick for that is Knockaround. You can get a solid and truly stylish pair of sunglasses for around $50-70. My pick for that is MessyWeekend. And if you want to get top of the line, with the best blend of style and value, expect to pay between $120 and $200. Some of my favorites in this category are Selfmade and Christopher Cloos.

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